Document uploaded to Supreme Court website reportedly reveals decision in Idaho abortion case

The Biden administration challenged the Idaho law banning emergency abortions, saying it conflicts with federal regulations.
Supreme Court Abortion Idaho
Posted at 12:32 PM, Jun 26, 2024

The Supreme Court is reportedly poised to rule in favor of the Biden administration in a case involving Idaho's restrictive abortion ban.

Bloomberg reports that a document was briefly posted on the Supreme Court's website showing that it will dismiss Idaho's appeal of a lower court's decision that allowed emergency abortions to protect the health of a mother.

Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, gave the following statement after the document's brief release:

“Based on the information we have right now, we can’t know whether the decision briefly shared on the Supreme Court website this morning was final or not. We are of course eagerly watching to see what the result will be – but however the justices decide, we shouldn’t be here in the first place. Two years ago, this same court created a reproductive health care crisis across the country. No matter what, Planned Parenthood will be here to provide quality health care and support our patients.”

Blaine Conzatti, President of Idaho Family Policy Center said the following about the situation:

"Assuming that the leaked opinion is representative of the forthcoming final opinion, we’re disappointed in – and strongly disagree with – the decision of the Court. That said, we’re not surprised by the outcome. While this decision will certainly have profound implications for abortion policy nationally, the leaked opinion does not affect the power of states to ban elective abortions.

The Center for Reproductive Rights’ President and CEO Nancy Northup issued the following statement:

“If this is the Court’s decision, we are relieved for the moment but hardly celebrating. The Court kicked the can down the road on whether states with abortion bans can override the federal law requirement that hospitals must provide abortion care to patients in the throes of life-threatening pregnancy complications. The Supreme Court created this health care crisis by overturning Roe v. Wade and should have decided the issue. Women with dire pregnancy complications and the hospital staff who care for them need clarity right now.”

The current law states that the procedure is only allowed if "necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman." There is an exception for victims of rape and incest, but only in the first trimester.

The Biden administration challenged the law, saying it conflicts with federal regulations — specifically the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA. It requires emergency rooms to treat patients in active labor and provide stabilizing care. The Biden administration argued that includes abortion if necessary.

In a statement to Scripps News, the Supreme Court acknowledged that the document was real, but it did not say whether that was the final ruling.

"The opinion in Moyle v. United States, No. 23-726, and Idaho v. United States, No. 23-727, has not been released," Supreme Court spokesperson Patricia McCabe said. "The Court’s Publications Unit inadvertently and briefly uploaded a document to the Court’s website. The Court’s opinion in these cases will be issued in due course."

This is the second time in two years that a document from the Supreme Court got out prematurely.

In 2022, a leaked draft opinion showed the Supreme Court would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The leak forecast the decision, which was made official about a month later. The Supreme Court was never able to identify the person who leaked the draft opinion.